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Tools for customizing education: Voice, text, and more

Every learner is different. Although some students will thrive using a specific technique, others may find themselves looking for additional support to help them grasp new concepts.

Fortunately, there are high-impact tools that can empower learners to access concepts in novel and innovative ways that best suit their needs. Text-to-speech features fall into this category.

In a blog post for McGraw Hill about the widespread benefits of text-to-speech capabilities, a teacher who works with English-language learners describes how these features can help students:

  • Access course content when low literacy could otherwise be a stumbling block.
  • Persevere with reading assignments when tiredness sets in.
  • Kick-start their efforts to engage with a subject when they’re feeling insecure.
  • Take ownership of their learning by sounding out words that look unfamiliar to them.
  • Review their writing—as it’s written—to catch errors before they submit homework.
  • Read along to develop stronger literacy skills as they interact with grade-level texts.

Likewise, many teachers are enthusiastic about the benefits of using technology to help students move from speaking their thoughts out loud to writing them down. In an article about the benefits of speech-to-text technology, public media organization KQED highlighted the tool’s capacity to assist learners of all abilities in a wide variety of contexts, including for quick text-based interactions using online chat boxes.

At Paper™, we believe in providing students with a customizable experience built to serve every learner’s unique needs. This drive has inspired us to offer more ways for students to unlock new opportunities.

[READ: “Equity considerations for student-centered learning: An overview”]

A broad array of options: Something for every learner

As we continue to grow our product offering so more students can realize the benefits of Paper’s Educational Support System, we’re rolling out new features to better support younger learners. These features will also benefit those who are learning English as an additional language, students with disabilities, and learners who want to try out different methods of accessing support.

Specifically, we’re proud to announce the implementation of:

Voice Notes: Elementary students can exchange voice messages with tutors by clicking a microphone icon in the Live Help chat bar. Then, they can explain any questions or problems out loud and review their tutor’s response, which can also be sent as a Voice Note or a standard text-based message.

Voice Notes

Voice Typing: This new feature allows all students on the platform to dictate their questions and responses out loud while still engaging in text-based chat sessions. Voice Typing transcribes what students say, allowing them to send text transcriptions via chat—all without having to type anything out themselves.

Paper-Blog_Voice-Typing

Text Reader: Paper’s Text Reader allows all students on the platform to listen to any text-based message sent during a Live Help session by simply hitting the play button. An automated text-to-speech program will recite the text for the student.

Text Reader

These features directly support younger students who are still gaining command of their reading and writing skills, allowing them to access academic support on Live Help that might otherwise seem out of reach. Additionally, English-language learners can use whichever method of assistance they find most helpful.

Likewise, for students who have trouble using a keyboard—or who are logging in to Paper from tablets or mobile devices, which can be cumbersome to type on for long periods of time—these audio features make it easier than ever to take advantage of on-demand tutoring.

Fundamentally, these features are for everybody’s benefit. When we provide more choices for students, we let them lead their own learning.

Ready to find out how Paper can help you support all students in your district? Schedule a demo with our team today.

About Paper

Paper partners with school districts to deliver 1:1 tutoring that is equitable, scalable, and cost-effective. Students get unlimited 24/7 live help and writing feedback, teachers get insights to tackle individual learning gaps, and administrators get actionable data to inform strategic decisions. Paper’s multilingual tutors add an extra layer of support across all content areas and grade levels, in and out of the classroom—so students always have access to expert help exactly when, where, and how they need it.

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